Wisdom can be one of the most underrated qualities a person can have. Unfortunately, many view attributes such as talent, authority, and influence as greater than wisdom. Surveying those around us, we can easily come to the conclusion that wisdom far surpasses these lesser abilities.
An actor may have great influence and make a drastic impact on many people. Yet for all their influence, if they lack wisdom, they have no worthy contribution to society. Today’s media driven culture has given a voice and platform to those who have no business having it. Influence without wisdom is worthless.
A politician may have authority and be in charge of major decisions. Staffers, employees, and constituents all reside under their “authority”, but without wisdom they bring no value to any they have authority over. There are far too many politicians who have great authority and little wisdom. Authority without wisdom is worthless.
An athlete may have great talent and abilities that cause many to applaud their physical skills, and yet without wisdom it is just a “jock” who can shoot a basket or run really fast. Though admired for their talent on the court, without wisdom their skill really is rather worthless.
Any attribute or skill is only made better and worth more when wisdom is added to the mix. An actor, politician, or athlete who actually behaves wisely is a rare find, and worthy of commendation. There are many in society that have no influence (or very little), no authority, and no great talents and skills, and yet with wisdom they bring great value to themselves and those around them.
After returning from the victory over Absalom, David is faced with a new threat. A man by the name of Sheba seizes the opportunity to usurp the throne from David. Where Judah was faithful to David, Israel was unsure of his leadership. Sheba wanted to fill that void of uncertainty and lead another coo against David.
David sent his mighty men, led by Joab, to cut the head of the snake before this problem grew bigger than the one they had just gotten out of. Joab corners Sheba in Abel of Bethmaachah, and begins to besiege the city. There was likely some confusion on the part of the inhabitants of why the mighty men and army of Israel was trying to destroy their city. There was likely fear, confusion, and anger.
The scenario of Abel of Bethmaachah could have been much worse. The people could have perceived the attack and unprovoked aggression and attempted to attack the mighty men. This action would have lead to loss of lives on both sides, and most likely the complete destruction of Able of Bethmaachah. In the end, Sheba might have escaped in the heat of the battle.
Instead a simple old woman shifted the tide of the events of that day. She is called a “wise woman”, and for good reason. Instead of letting the heat of the moment take her, and acting rashly, she attempts to talk to Joab. Upon gaining his attention, the clear motivation behind the attack is made clear. The woman then goes to the inhabitants of the city, explains what is going on, and they behead Sheba and throw his head over the wall! Easy-peasy, all is well. On that day, wisdom was better than anything else.
There is much we can learn from this old wise woman. In the heat of confusion, she acted in wisdom instead of allowing emotions to drive her decisions. Allow wisdom to drive your actions, not emotions. Emotions can be very deceitful and misleading, but wisdom always points true and right. Proverbs 7:4 says, “ Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:”
When influence, power, authority, and skill failed wisdom didn’t. Wisdom is one of the best things to have in your life… so get wisdom. Proverbs 8:11 says, “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”
You may be pondering, I know wisdom is good and I want wisdom, but how do I get it. Two thoughts here: 1) God has a monopoly on all the wisdom, so if you are going to get it… it must come from Him (James 1:5). 2) Wisdom is gained as we fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).
If you want wisdom, ask God for it everyday… He will give it liberally (in abundance) and will not upbraid (rebuke us, get mad for asking) us. If you want wisdom, get in the Word of God, and learn to fear the Lord… having reverence and awe of Him.
This woman made an incredible difference with her wisdom; imagine what God could do with you if you had wisdom.
Daily Scripture Reading
2 Samuel 19-21
2 Samuel 19:15
“So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.”